… For decades, most political theories tended to assume that people were rational, which suggested that it didn’t much matter exactly who held power. Of course, psychologists have known for a long time that this assumption wasn’t always true, but it was difficult to study top decision-makers to draw general conclusions.
But a revolution has been underway in the behavioral sciences, rooted in psychology, that is improving our ability to link the attributes of individual people to real-world outcomes such as war and peace. A clutch of new studies, some of which are collected together in a new special issue of the journal International Organization, offer some fresh examples of how we can better understand how individuals matter in international politics. Here are three examples. CONT.
Emilie M. Hafner-Burton, Stephan M. Haggard, David A. Lake & David G. Victor, Monkey Cage